I've long admired pop musicians willing to make an instrumental record. They dare to expose their musical souls. Every track is an open window on their state of mind.
Ratatat is a New York City instrumental electronic duo consisting of Mike Stroud and Evan Mast. They've been recording music for the past five years, and LP3 is their most mature effort yet.
Right from the start, Ratatat impresses with tender and beautifully warped keyboard sounds that drip with bittersweet nostalgia. Two minutes into the song, the keys acquiesce to a blast of electric guitar, rousing the melody into action, even as the sound fades away.
Most of the songs aren't that emotional. Ratatat's mix of guitar, bass and synth leans toward the playful side. The vibe on "Imperials" is a landscape of meandering keys that skip to the rhythm of handclap beats.
Ratatat is ultimately a kind of electronic jazz. It's programmed music being happily humanized by the improvisation of the programmers themselves.